Estate agent fights back against slump

SHREWD negotiation and cheap mortgage rates are today helping one Ipswich estate agent climb up the slippery housing slope.

SHREWD negotiation and cheap mortgage rates are today helping one Ipswich estate agent climb up the slippery housing slope.

Fenn Wright has been selling more than one house a day during February and is calling for more properties to be added to their books as stocks are running dry.

And despite a poor start to 2008, the company has increased its turnover by 25 per cent in the last six months.

The healthy assessment comes at a bleak time for the property sector.

Housebuilder Barratt Development said average prices had fallen by around 27 pc since the peak of the market in June 2007.

And the number of homes in the UK repossessed by lenders rose last year by 54pc to 40,000, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

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But Charlie Wright, partner of Fenn Wright in The Buttermarket, said the firm was well-placed to exploit the downturn.

He said: “We are an experienced team. We have five negotiators, all with more than ten years' experience.

“People have read about the negative market and they are starting to listen to an experienced person rather than someone young.

“We have also tried to improve our marketing throughout the recession, while a lot of our competitors tend to be cutting back on costs.

“I haven't heard of anyone doing the sort of volume of sales that we have done. Our stocks are dwindling and we are short of instructions (requests to sell).”

Record low interest rates have also enticed buyers who can now get mortgage repayments lower than their current rent.

Mr Wright said: “Borrowing is at a much lower rate which is fantastic. A lot of people are coming into rental because they want their own home now.

“I don't think the prices are going to rise, but I would like this stability to continue.”

Are you delving into the housing market? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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